I’m a college student–er uh, graduate– with multiple food allergies. My doctors thought for the last few years that I don’t really have any “real” food allergies because nothing has ever shown up on tests. Still I was given an EpiPen in the fall of 2010, and we learned the painful way that I do have a severe dairy allergy when I ended up experiencing anaphylaxis in the summer of 2011. I haven’t always had food allergies however. They started around 6-7 years ago, and only with dairy. The only thing which I finally tested positive for with foods was in summer of 2014: almonds. So we know for sure I am highly allergic to them, and so due to cross-reactivity, I avoid the whole tree nut family. I’ve had reactions to peanuts as well, though I don’t test positive to them.
Other foods cause GI issues, including bananas and eggs, and there’s a list of “I don’t know” foods that are currently on the “avoid” list just to be safe.
My freshman year in college came with more challenges than just homework. I seemed to react to nuts, then eggs, and then corn. Finally last summer, it dawned on me that gluten was the problem. Testing was a mess, as my doctors refused to test me at first, but the diagnosis seems to be celiac, though my doctors seem to hate to want to admit it.
Oddly, you may think, my worst symptoms from when I get glutened, are not GI symptoms like people with celaic “typically” get. I do get an upset stomach, and itching, and sometimes dizzy… but it sends me into a not very pleasant asthma attack. Gluten tanks my lungs for a good 36-48 hours, and then takes about a week to get over fully and back to baseline. During those first 24-48 hours though, it’s tough on my lungs, more than once, I should have been in the hospital, but instead rode it out at home. This is why I hate gluten so much, and I hate cross contamination. I literally can’t think straight, and am exhausted and can’t breathe anywhere near normal when I ingest gluten.
Wheat is evil: wheavil. (thanks go to Kristi for introducing me to this word 🙂 )
I love being in the kitchen baking, especially either inventing new recipes or tweaking old ones or converting things from either the internet or the Joy of Cooking to being gluten, dairy, nut, egg, pineapple, strawberry and banana free! Feel free to come back later on and check on new posts and recipes I might have to share! Happy baking, and stay safe!
Update spring 2013: I’m now a college graduate (and graduated with honors!!).